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Socially responsible investment: An instrument exclusively available from the DESJARDINS credit union

7. Community involvement

Social investment


As part of the Desjardins Group, the Fund for a solidarity-based economy was launched in 1971 out of an alliance between cooperative action and the trade union movement.

Through a set of assigned missions, this Fund supports efforts to develop a socially responsible and solidarity-based economy. In Quebec, this commitment involves the offering of many services, including socially responsible investment.


  • Support initiatives that help develop a socially responsible and solidarity-based economy.


Socially responsible investment refers to a range of savings vehicles featuring different rates and terms. Let's cite, as an example, investment accounts dedicated to accessing higher education (REEE: University Savings Account, or REEP: Permanent Education Incentive Account). These vehicles are proposed to individuals seeking to accumulate capital to financially assist their children's higher education ambitions or else pursue their own course of studies. This fund also offers a retirement savings account, called REER, that provides a facility for investing savings throughout one's working life in order to generate a complementary revenue stream during retirement years. Regardless of the product chosen, the capital invested is guaranteed, in accordance with Quebec's deposit insurance rules; moreover, the rates applied are in line with market competition or even higher.

The originality of socially responsible investment strategies lies in the utility ascribed to the funds collected.

This Fund exclusively finances projects and companies exhibiting a social, cultural or environmental value. Investment guidelines require that this financing be transparent as a means of ensuring that each individual investor knows exactly where his funds are being invested.

As of November 30th, 2008, every CAD 1,000 invested was being split as follows:

- $ 360 in loans to cooperatives in the areas of housing, labor, solidarity actions, ambulance transport services and funeral services;

- $ 260 in financing projects stemming from community actions and programs (affordable housing, employment agency, day care centers for small children, urban revitalization, environmental protection);

- $ 260 in loans to individuals participating in the Fund's ecologically oriented programs, such as "hypothÉco" (mortgages) and "autoÉco" (automobiles);

- $ 70 in financing cultural projects (theaters, museums).

- $ 30 in loans granted to trade unions;

- $ 20 in other loans encompassing several sectors simultaneously.


  •  Broadening of the range of financial services


  •  Financing of projects with a strong social or ecological orientation

Mise à jour le 20/05/2016

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